There are two places in the world where men can most effectively disappearthe city of London and the South Seas.
(Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The South Seas" (1858-59), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).
I had said to Mrs. Boscawen at table, "I believe this is about as much as can be made of life." I was really happy. My gay ideas of London in youth were realized and consolidated.
(James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Laird of Auchinleck, journal, April 20, 1781, p. 328, McGraw-Hill (1977).
Said at dinner in Mrs. Garrick's house, in the company of Samuel Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Dr. Charles Burney, and other friends.)
One of the many to whom, from straightened circumstances, a consequent inability to form the associations they would wish, and a disinclination to mix with the society they could obtain, London is as complete a solitude as the plains of Syria.
(Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Nicholas Nickleby, ch. 20, p. 246 (1839).)
That's playgirl stuff, Brownie. I've seen them in London, Paris, Rome. They start life in a New York nightclub and end up covering the world like a paid advertisement. Not an honest feeling from her kneecap to her neck.
(John Lee Mahin (1902-1984), U.S. screenwriter, and John Ford. Victor Marswell (Clark Gable), Mogambo, response to Brownie's (Philip Stainton) suggestion that he make a play for Kelly (Ava Gardner) (1953).
Based on the play Red Dust by Wilson Collison.)
...the shiny-cheeked merchant bankers from London with eighties striped blue ties and white collars and double-barreled names and double chins and double-breasted suits, who said "ears" when they meant "yes" and "hice" when they meant "house" and "school" when they meant "Eton"...
(John le Carré (b. 1931), British novelist. Roper's description of the people he calls "the Necessary Evils" in The Night Manager, ch. 17, Alfred A. Knopf (1993).)
Virtue, my pet, is an abstract idea, varying in its manifestations with the surroundings. Virtue in Provence, in Constantinople, in London, and in Paris bears very different fruit, but is none the less virtue.
(Honoré De Balzac (1799-1850), French novelist. Louise de Chaulieu to Renée de l'Estorade in a letter, in Letters of Two Brides (Mémoires de Deux Jeunes Mariées), in La Presse (1841-1842), Souverain (1842), included in the Scènes de la Vie Privée in the Comédie humaine (1845, trans. by George Saintsbury, 1971).)